DEAR SUN SPOTS: A few years ago you got permission to print a potato salad recipe from “Cooking Down East” by Marjorie Standish. Can you please reprint it? Thanks! — No Name, Auburn.

ANSWER: Here it is. Can’t wait to try it.

Best Potato Salad

Pare and cook eight medium potatoes. Drain and cool enough so they may be handled. While potatoes are still warm, dice them into a bowl.

Pour the following dressing over them. Doing this while they are still warm ensures better flavor.

8 tablespoons oil

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

a shake or two of red pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely minced onion

Stir salad with dressing so that each piece of potato is saturated. Cool, then refrigerate. Leave in refrigerator several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, mix with mayonnaise. Serve on lettuce. Serves 8.

Marjorie says: Secret of a good potato salad? Cook pared potatoes so they are very tender; dice small as soon as they are cool enough to handle, and follow these directions.

2010, Marjorie Standish, from “Cooking Down East, Favorite Maine Recipes,” Revised Edition, Down East Books.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: How do I get rid of the Japanese beetles that are eating my flowers and vegetables without using toxic chemicals? Thanks. — Wants to get rid of a nuisance, in Lewiston.

ANSWER: For the beetles that have already hatched, hand picking them and dropping them in a jar of a vinegar-water solution will have to do. Sun Spots browsed the gardening column written by Eileen Adams in the Sun Journal and learned this is her method:

“The Japanese beetles, as virtually anyone who grows anything knows, are extremely ravenous and will eat anything – bean leaves, berry leaves, even weeds. They do tend to stay away from my herbs, however. This fall, just before the remaining vegetables are harvested and preserved, we plan to apply milky spore to most of the grassy areas near the garden and the berry patch.

“Milky spore is a living creature that infests the white grubs of the Japanese beetle and kills them before they become the damaging insect.

“It is fairly expensive, at about $35 to $40 a pound, but a pound goes a very long way and can prevent grubs from developing into Japanese beetles for up to 10 years. It generally comes in powder form and can be found in most garden supply stores.

“To apply, simply lightly sprinkle grassy areas with the powder. It will get into the soil where the eggs are laid and the larvae grow. Next year, a significant reduction in these shiny beetles should be noticed.”

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